30-Day Adoption? – The Good vs. The Bad


Adopting a cat or dog is a noble act, but it does come with its obstacles. Just the process of adoption itself can be a trying one. In the end, it’ll be worth it, but you should know that the first 30 days after you bring home your new pet might be a bit bumpy. Check out our guide to bringing home a new member of the family:

  1. Watch him blossom. One of the sweetest parts of adopting a new pet is getting to know him. This will happen in the first week or two after you bring him home, but don’t rush it. Let your cat or dog come to you. As he gets more comfortable at home, he’ll come out of his shell. But it has to happen at his pace.
  2. Get on a schedule. A good way to ease an anxious animal is to get him on a schedule. If your dog or cat knows exactly when he’s waking up, eating, and saying goodbye to you each day, he’ll acclimate more quickly to your home. So make sure to establish a schedule and stick to it.
  3. Keep your vet on speed-dial. If you’re a new pet parent, you are probably also going to be an anxious one. Find a vet you feel comfortable with and trust before you even bring your kitty or pup home. Have his or her number nearby so you can call when questions inevitably come up.
  4. Go to group training. Your puppy is probably going to need some help learning to obey. Give him a hand; take him to group behavioral training. Not only will he learn simple commands, he’ll also make new friends and get a chance to flex his social skills.
  5. Don’t force food. Cats might not start scarfing down food immediately. As they try to figure you out and get adjusted to their new environment, eating will likely be the last thing on their mind. So make sure you give cats some space and let them eat as little or as much as they like in those first few weeks.
  6. Set some ground rules. If you don’t want your dog on the furniture, you need to set that precedent early. Likewise, if your cat can’t sleep in your bed, don’t let him up there for the first few weeks. Make sure your pet understands exactly what’s expected of him, which parts of the house are off-limits, and any other non-negotiable rules.
  7. House train. Housebreaking is a necessary step in every new pet owner’s journey. If you have a cat, it should be relatively simple. Basically stick the litter box in a corner, make sure your kitty knows where it is, and remind him as many times as necessary. The rest should be fairly intuitive. With dogs, however, housebreaking might require some patience. Don’t let yourself get frustrated or dismayed, just persist until your pup gets the hang of it.
  8. Relax and enjoy. New pets should be enjoyed—don’t forget to have some fun with your furry friend, too.

Tips for the First 30 Days of Dog Adoption [PetFinder]
Tips for the First 30 Days of Cat Adoption [PetFinder]
Top Tips for Safely Bringing Home a Rescue or Shelter Dog [Adoptapet.com]